Castle Crag is the lowest of all the 214 Wainwright fells at 290m (951ft). Although it is the lowest fell documented by Wainwright it is a steep little climb and would require more effort than you may originally think. The approach to the summit is via a steep zig zag path up the spoil heap from the quarry that was once just below the summit. The highest point on the fell is marked with a War Memorial.
Although little now remains, there was once an ancient Iron Age fort on the top of the fell. Some of the ramparts are still visible on the eastern side of the summit although most was cut away by the quarry.
The views are remarkable from such a low height with a grand view north over Derwent Water to Skiddaw and also over Borrowdale.
On the lower slopes of the fell is also Milican Daltons Cave.
Wainwright accorded Castle Crag the status of a separate fell because it "is so magnificently independent, so ruggedly individual, so aggressively unashamed of its lack of inches, that less than justice would be done by relegating it to a paragraph in the High Spy chapter.”
Castle Crag is located in Borrowdale just a couple of miles south of Keswick along the B5289. The two most popular starting locations are Rosthwaite and Grange.
To get to The Lake District itself, from the north follow the M6 south past Carlisle and to Penrith. Take the A66 West and you will arrive in Keswick in the North Lakes after about 18 Miles. From the East the best road to take is the A66 across the Pennines to Penrith and then continue to Keswick. From the South you can either take the M6 north to Kendal and then the A591 to Windermere and Ambleside, or continue to get the A66 and then west to Keswick. Of coming from the south east then the A1(m) North is the best route to Scotch Corner and then follow the A66 west to Penrith and then to Keswick.
Red TapeNo red tape.
There are several campsites located in Borrowdale, the closest being the National Trust Site at Hollows Farm about a mile or two to the north. There are other sites at Stonethwaite and just south of Rosthwaite.
External LinksCastle Crag Routes and Images
There are two main routes up to Castle Crag, one starting at Grange (Blue Route) and one from Rosthwaite (Red Route).
Route 1 (Blue Route)
From Grange head south out of the village, past Hollows Farm campsite and along the River Derwent. The route then turns right along Broadslack Gill and along the western side of Castle Crag to the col linking it to High Spy. Form there its a short sharp walk up the zigzag path to the summit.
Route 2 (Red Route)
From Rosthwaite head out of the village to the west and then north west along the River Derwent. Cross the river at New Bridge and continue to follow it until a path heads off to the north west and ascends up to the south side of Castle Crag. From there its the zigzag path to the top.
HistoryOn the summit of Castle Crag is an ancient Iron Age fort. This is what English Heritage have documented about the site:
It includes an irregularly-shaped internal enclosure measuring approximately 60m by 25m internally that is protected on its north and north east sides by a turf-covered stone rampart up to 4m wide and 0.7m high running along the edge of the precipice. The present irregular shape is a product of past slate quarrying which has removed the monument's south western corner. There are three artificially levelled areas within the enclosure; two are situated immediately south of a rocky summit knoll and measure c.11m by 10m and 6.5m by 5.5m. The third is situated in the eastern part of the enclosure and measures approximately 15m by 12m.